Author Topic: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco  (Read 3070 times)

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randgust

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Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« on: January 15, 2019, 08:28:24 PM »
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OK, you all know me.   I have a certain urge to want to take on the 'impossible project'.

I do remember the Model Railroader where the first brass steam locomotive in N was introduced, a Santa Fe 3400 class Pacific by Jamco.   Oh, how I was amazed.   And that was about 50 years ago.   And I've wanted a Santa Fe 4-6-2 ever since.

Well, I've got ONE Santa Fe brass steam locomotive, a Hallmark 4-8-4 3751.   I really tore that baby apart to make it run right, put in a new motor, flywheels, blinded the center drivers, changed the drawbar, improved the pickup.   It's now a great runner.  Unfortunately that made me loose my fear of tearing into a brass steam locomotive like I would anything else.

And I've had an old Atlas 4-6-2 that I got as a parts-only zinc pest victim, still ran until lately, when the frame is now so bent the pilot hits the rails and the frame is done for.  I always looked at it as 'maybe' a Santa Fe 4-6-2 project, not any more.   And I've longingly looked at the Pecos River Brass 4-6-2's, I just can't afford one or justify that kind of expenditure on something that is really a display model.   And yes, I've seen Marks review on the Jamco 4-6-2 with a nice solid "F".   

And I got a junker anyway.   Pulled the trigger.  Second childhood for sure.  It's obviously got issues and was advertised as a non-runner with all the flaws clearly shown.   I've got my work cut out for me and I know it.  We're looking at a frame-up, no-holds-barred rebuild here.   Stay tuned.   I've thought about scratchbuilding one on another chassis, this will be pretty close to it from the looks of things. :scared:

Doug G.

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2019, 08:45:46 PM »
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Good luck. It was kind of a landmark locomotive at the time, simply because it WAS the first brass n scale steam locomotive, in spite of it's shortcomings and even though it wasn't really constructed like what was considered normal brass steamers (it had a cast boiler instead of a fabricated one.

Anyway, I have done the same thing with basket cases. I have bought old Atlas steamers in parts and rebuilt them before. One time there were the parts of two Pacifics and one Mikado in a baggie and I won the auction and got them back together. One required repairing the frame.

Wasn't it the Jamco that required kind of loosely putting the motor into the boiler and then finally positioning the boiler and then fastening the motor after getting it in the right place?

Doug
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 08:48:08 PM by Doug G. »
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mmagliaro

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2019, 09:23:46 PM »
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You probably already know this, but the Pecos River Brass Santa Fe 4-6-2 was a really good N Scale brass ATSF.  I've worked on a few of those and I was really impressed with how well they ran and pulled.  So if you ever get the urge to have another N Scale brass 4-6-2, that would be a good one.

As for the Jameco one, I've read accounts of it, so I wish you luck and I will follow this with great interest.
I always admire somebody trying to "fix up the old ones".

nkalanaga

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 01:45:10 AM »
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It's possible to 3-D print metals today.  I wonder if there would be any interest in printing new frames, possibly designed for modern motors, for some of the old N steam?

Just an idea, since I don't need any.  The BN didn't run steam, and nobody made Nn3 steam back then.
N Kalanaga
Be well

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 10:24:40 AM »
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I still keep my eye out for future NTRAK Steam Annual articles.

This would be a fun one!

peteski

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 04:13:13 PM »
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I still keep my eye out for future NTRAK Steam Annual articles.

This would be a fun one!

Steam Annual seems to be dead. You didn't get the memo?  They can't find anybody to be the editor of the future issues and article submissions are also not there. NTRAK management seems to think that N scale steam is dead.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 07:02:07 PM by peteski »
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central.vermont

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 05:56:42 PM »
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I had one of those Jamco Pacifics and got it to run fair. First thing I had to do was to get it  to run the same direction as all my other engines!! Damn thing ran backwards right out of the box. To fix that I simply pulled the motor magnet and turned it over. The trailing truck fell apart at the joints and I re-soldered that. I also had to do what Victor Miranda did for the shorting issue Max's Spookshow's [Sorry Max my bad!!]  unit had. I ended up selling it on EBay years ago and got all my money back at least!!  :D

Jon
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 04:52:12 AM by central.vermont »

craigolio1

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 06:01:06 PM »
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Guess I’m the only one that buys it every year then ;). Those books are gold.

Craig

randgust

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2019, 08:22:57 PM »
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Years ago Verne Niner and I did a team thread on overhauling our Hallmark 4-8-4's.   I bet mine spent three years in the display case after I discovered it really couldn't even make a 15" radius curve on my layout.   It took that long for me to 'just get over it' and tear it apart and do something.    I had the same problem with even getting started on my GHQ PRR L1 kit until I found Max's article on how to actually build it.  Pure intimidation.

Well, I have no such reservations here. To me, it's easier to do radical surgery on something that is freely known to be troubled instead of a 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING????' which is the natural reaction anyone should have on attacking a brass locomotive of some 'collector' status.    This one was out on the auction site for a long time and nobody else touched it,  mostly because it's pretty evident this is a basket case to start with.

I was seriously looking at starting from either a raw chassis or a fairly close approximation and scratchbuilding one, I've done enough of that already.  Not to Max's unbelievable level, but we do trade notes.

mmagliaro

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2019, 09:00:09 PM »
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I had one of those Jamco Pacifics and got it to run fair. First thing I had to do was to get it  to run the same direction as all my other engines!! Damn thing ran backwards right out of the box. To fix that I simply pulled the motor magnet and turned it over. The trailing truck fell apart at the joints and I re-soldered that. I also had to do what Victor Miranda did for the shorting issue Max's unit had. I ended up selling it on EBay years ago and got all my money back at least!!  :D

Jon


I think you have me confused with somebody else?  I never owned one of these Jamco engines.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 11:30:47 PM »
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Years ago Verne Niner and I did a team thread on overhauling our Hallmark 4-8-4's....

I miss Verne...
Otto K.

central.vermont

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 04:54:21 AM »
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I think you have me confused with somebody else?  I never owned one of these Jamco engines.

Sorry Max I meant Spookshow's.
My brain just automatically thinks Max when it comes to steam engines!!!  :D :D

mmagliaro

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 01:44:22 PM »
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Sorry Max I meant Spookshow's.
My brain just automatically thinks Max when it comes to steam engines!!!  :D :D
No problem.  I take that heartily as a compliment!  :)

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2019, 02:11:55 PM »
+2
Steam Annual seems to be dead. You didn't get the memo?  They can't find anybody to be the editor of the future issues and article submissions are also not there. NTRAK management seems to think that N scale steam is dead.

The lack of an editor is indeed what's holding up future volumes. But there is NO sentiment that "steam is dead". C'mon man.

mmagliaro

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Re: Against all good advice - bought a junker Jamco
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2019, 11:41:30 PM »
+1
Just to second what Ed said here:

As many of you know, Ed and I have both helped with the steam annuals for a few years doing layout design (Ed) and photo editing (me).    Gathering authors, material, and then editing articles is a formidable job. There were always two people doing that job, but presently there are none and that's the only reason there has not been a new edition.   NTrak does not consider N scale steam "dead" by any means.  Those books were very popular both with the NTrak organization folks and with their customers.